Happy new peerages’ day! These auspicious occasions seem to roll around quicker now. Rishi Sunak has clearly learned something from the rows over resignation honours for his two predecessors: stagger the names, slip out a list in recess and then hope that no-one notices. Thirteen new peers have been ennobled in the latest drive to boost ermine sales, with eight to the Tories, four to Labour and one to Plaid Cymru.
So who are this baker’s dozen of lifelong legislators? Well perhaps the most intriguing name is the Welsh nationalists’ sole nominee. At just 27, Carmen Smith will become the youngest ever life peer, smashing the record of Charlotte Owen set last year. Can’t beat a trailblazer eh? The Tories meanwhile have ennobled Franck Petitgas, Rishi Sunak’s business adviser and former president of Morgan Stanley International who has previously donated £35,000 to the Tory party. Talk about sound investment advice.
Paul Goodman of ConservativeHome gets a seat in the Upper House, alongside Labour commentator Ayesha Hazarika. It prompted journalist Matt Chorley to remark ‘One day every Times Radio presenter will have a peerage’ in light of the past ennoblements of Lords Finkelstein, Mandelson and Vaizey. The Conservative list also includes Charles Banner KC, a leading barrister who was pictured watching cricket with Sunak at – prophetically – Lords last summer. Banner previously hit the headlines in 2022 after his family were escorted from a British Airways flight by armed police after arguing with cabin crew when they refused to let the children’s nanny join them in business class.